IT support teams must provision, manage, and retire a diverse range of devices. It’s time-consuming, costly, and hard to achieve visibility across the whole fleet. The manage4ALL + myCloudCenter Device as a Service (DaaS) solution from bytesatwork simplifies this process for small- and midsize-businesses (SMBs). This unique offering covers management throughout the entire device lifecycle; from configuration and ordering, to deployment and support through end of life. Seamless integration with the Intel vPro® platform helps IT teams streamline support, strengthen security, and improve reliability.
- Small- and midsize-businesses (SMBs) must learn, install, and become proficient in multiple solutions to manage the device lifecycle.
- Using software-level manageability, IT teams must dispatch technicians to solve BIOS- and OS-related problems at the deskside. This approach can be costly and can impact end-user productivity.
- Integrating the Intel vPro® platform, manage4ALL + myCloudCenter enables SMBs to manage the full device lifecycle with one easy-to-use solution.
- Hardware-level management capabilities enable IT teams to manage devices inside and outside the corporate firewall, even in the event of a system crash.
- IT teams can reduce the number of deskside visits, saving time and money and improving end-user productivity. Also, they can remotely power up and down activated devices to carry out upgrades during nonwork hours, helping to reduce energy consumption.
- bytesatwork’s SMB customers can now focus on business-critical tasks, like attracting new customers and growing their business.
“With the integration of the Intel vPro platform, we can now also intervene in the BIOS and access devices without a functioning operating system. We do this using the hardware-level management capabilities of the Intel vPro platform with keyboard, video, and mouse control (KVM), and boot redirection.” —Marcus Nolde, CEO at bytesatwork
Managing IT Support Challenges for All Technicians
Currently businesses run multiple solutions to manage the device lifecycle, each one focused on a specific job, like software support or billing. As a result, IT teams, whether in house or at a distributor, partner, or reseller, must learn, install, and become proficient in multiple solutions—an incredibly time-consuming and costly approach to device management. Since each one of the solutions is focused on a specific part of the device lifecycle, IT support teams often have no unified view and there’s little continuity between each lifecycle stage.
While this approach works for larger enterprises, it’s difficult for SMBs because the time, training, and familiarization costs are simply too high in relation to the benefits. Aware of these challenges, Marcus Nolde, CEO at bytesatwork, decided to develop a device management solution for SMBs. Nolde wanted to bring together the tools customers really need into an easy-to-use, single solution suite, enabling all IT technicians to manage the full lifecycle of disparate devices easily and cost effectively. Nolde named the solution manage4ALL.
“There’s been a clear need for a solution like manage4ALL for the best part of a decade, and now the global pandemic has brought this need into even sharper focus,” says Nolde. “The rise of home working throughout the pandemic has increased the number of disparate devices that IT support teams have to manage, adding even further cost and complexity.”
Figure 1. manage4ALL + myCloudCenter ecosystem and device lifecycle.
Transforming the Full Device Lifecycle with manage4ALL + myCloudCenter
manage4ALL + myCloudCenter is one of the few DaaS solutions available that offers all IT technicians support through the full device lifecycle - see figure 1. myCloudCenter is a digital marketplace that supports businesses through the configuration, ordering, and imaging phases of the device lifecycle. manage4all handles device provisioning, management, and retirement. These solution components can be used together, independently, or with alternative web shops.
Take, for example, a reseller for retail. The myCloudCenter marketplace lets its customer’s employees pick via a self-service portal the device, software, and services they need. These selections could be 100 percent preset or customized in the range of the defined parameters.
The devices are then shipped direct from the factory to the store or office. After switching on, that’s when manage4all capabilities take over. Everything is automatically rolled-out and moved to the intended infrastructure position for zero-touch automation with installation and roll-out, monitoring, service, support, and lifecycle.
With manage4ALL + myCloudCenter, the management of disparate devices can be greatly simplified. IT support teams no longer need to integrate and become proficient in multiple tools.
Integrating Hardware-Level Capabilities of the Intel vPro® Platform
The Intel vPro platform capabilities are critical to the management function of manage4ALL. Before the integration, the solution could only manage devices at the software level. Like many other products on the market, remote manageability was only available for devices with a functioning operating system.
“And, from a technician’s point of view, that wasn’t sufficient,” explains Nolde. “With the integration of the Intel vPro platform, we can now also intervene in the BIOS and access devices without a functioning operating system. We do this using the hardware-level management capabilities of the Intel vPro platform with keyboard, video and mouse control (KVM), and boot redirection.”
manage4ALL uses seamless integration with Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT)—delivered as part of the Intel vPro platform, together with the built-in enablement of Intel® Endpoint Management Assistant (Intel® EMA) cloud capabilities. The solution allows IT teams to manage devices both inside and outside the corporate firewall, even in the event of a system crash.
Once these Intel vPro platform manageability tools are provisioned on the devices, the solution helps cut down on deskside visits, can save time and money, and improve quality of service. Fewer car journeys can also help to reduce harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM). The end customer no longer needs to wait for a technician to turn up to fix their device, even when dealing with nonresponsive systems.
IT support teams can also remotely power up devices, carry out available security patches or upgrade work during nonwork hours, and then power them down again straight away, reducing energy consumption. All manageability functions can be done manually or set by automated triggers.
When it comes to end of life, manage4ALL enables IT teams to more securely retire the devices with remote drive erasing, for example by using the Intel® AMT Remote Secure Erase (RSE) feature.
“The Intel vPro platform also offers various possibilities for protecting devices from bad actors. From tamper protection in the BIOS with Intel® Hardware Shield, through to the latest Intel® Threat Detection Technology (Intel® TDT) to protect devices from complex security threats like ransomware and crypto mining. This capability is especially important in today’s uncertain times,” says Nolde.
Collaborating with Intel
Throughout the development of the manage4ALL solution, Intel experts were on hand to offer bytesatwork advice on integration and deployment. Intel® Software Development Kits (SDKs) allowed bytesatwork to couple the Intel vPro platform more quickly and securely with its existing suite of solutions. bytesatwork also had early access to Intel’s technology roadmap, giving them a look into future capabilities.
“As a software company, you aren’t dependent on chasing technology but rather being ahead of it. By collaborating with Intel, we’re informed early on about new technologies, new possibilities, or upcoming technology changes. We can test, integrate, or prepare in advance under NDA,” explains Nolde.
Improving manage4ALL into the Future
By integrating the Intel vPro platform into its existing suite of best-of-breed solutions, bytesatwork could deliver a competitive full lifecycle DaaS solution with remote manageability features. The manage4ALL solution enables partners, distributors, and resellers to take advantage of these features at the touch of a button. Rather than spending time on day-to-day management, bytesatwork customers can now focus on business-critical tasks, attract new customers, and grow their business.
bytesatwork and Intel continue to collaborate to develop the manage4ALL solution. Nolde concludes: “We listen to our customers, partners, and testers to expand, develop, and improve manage4ALL feature by feature. A special focus for me is our continuing cooperation with Intel, especially the utilization of Intel Threat Detection Technology. We’ll test, integrate, and expand these features to help significantly improve the service, support, and security of workplaces of the future.”
“As a software company, you aren’t dependent on chasing technology but rather being ahead of it. By collaborating with Intel, we’re informed early on about new technologies, new possibilities, or upcoming technology changes. We can test, integrate, or prepare in advance under NDA.” —Marcus Nolde, CEO at bytesatwork
Reducing Downtime and Improving Patient Care
A German software vendor, providing solutions for doctors’ offices and hospitals, turned to manage4ALL to help reduce medical device downtime and provide patients with more efficient care.
Using the 11th Generation Intel vPro platform, manage4ALL streamlined servicing for over 50,000 client field devices. The remote management features of Intel vPro technology enabled the vendor to reduce the number of deskside visits needed to fix out-of-band devices. This saving helped to reduce costs and improve the productivity of IT support and end users alike. In addition, hardware-based security and active monitoring for threats and attacks helped to protect resources and data.
After experiencing the value that the Intel vPro platform could bring to its fleet, the vendor decided to take advantage of its upcoming device refresh to standardize on the Intel vPro platform.
Flexible and Scalable Deployment
manage4ALL + myCloudCenter offers distributors, partners, and resellers the flexibility they need to meet each individual customer’s needs. The solution is available as a fully customizable white label solution, a managed service delivered through the cloud, or a self-managed, on-premises deployment.
Designed with small- and midsize-businesses (SMBs) in mind, pricing models are affordable and flexible. However, manage4ALL can also scale to 100s or 1,000s of devices to meet enterprise-level requirements.
bytesatwork is an independent software vendor (ISV) located in Germany. It targets small- and midsize-businesses (SMBs) in the healthcare and education verticals with Device as a Service (DaaS) solutions. bytesatwork also provides support for Internet of Things (IoT) devices like digital signs and kiosks. Each service is different and is tailored to the customer’s specific needs.